23 May 2016

Taming the tyrant of the mind

Just stop. Take yourself away from the busyness of life and stop for a while.
This is the delight that comes with entering into a meditation retreat. It just all falls away. The busyness dissolves, the mind settles, peace and clarity arise.

Just back myself from attend (yes, not leading – attending) a 10 day retreat mostly in silence, it strikes me yet again how reliable this process is. As the mind settles, thoughts come and go. Sure, some are turbulent, some peaceful; but with perseverance – the peace and clarity re-assert themselves. And so often, insights flow.

For me, this recent retreat provided another vivid reminder of how valuable it is to go on personal retreat. In fact, this one will inform, and transform how I present the next two retreats Ruth and I will lead, both of which have the intention of entering the deeper stillness of the essence of meditation.

Then too, a reminder of what can come from attending a retreat. So this week, a heartfelt sharing of a transformative experience involving releasing a tyrant within, sent from one who attended the last retreat we ran where the focus was on contemplation, but first

           Thought for the day

                A mind that is fast is sick

                A mind that is slow is sound 

                A mind that is still is divine

                             Meher Baba

Thank you very much for the great teachings and guidance you gave us all at the recent Meditation Under the Long White Cloud retreat where we focused on contemplation.

I would like to tell you that thanks to these teachings and quite a lot of dedicated meditation for many years, I have found a new level of satisfaction and peace with contemplation as a meditation technique. It has been truly wonderous in it’s capacity to transform my state of mind.

It had come to my awareness that recently I have had a “tyrant” taking charge of my active mind when I feel “too good”. This tyrant came in the form of my thoughts which became like the lashings of a whip constructed by my own mind to punish me for something like just not being worthy enough.

In the days before the retreat, actually for years now, this tyrant had been getting “stuck into me” pretty well as soon as I wake up. After the feelings of sleep had slipped away, it would start with all the “problems in the relationships in my family” and soon a deep, ancient sense of hopelessness and bewilderment pervaded.

This in turn created one thought after another that had the effect of disturbing me and giving me everything from mild longing, to severe felt-sense disturbance in the area of my stomach and solar plexus.

I am reminded that this is very similar to the dementia-ridden state of mind of my loving grandmother. Later in life, she could talk of nothing else, bar in a disjointed way, her sense of unhappy, fractured regrets about her long gone relationships. What tragedy.  At the end of her life she just wept all the time. She was totally in it all the time.

And there but for the grace of you, go I …

What has changed that is so significant? Since the retreat, I have started to use contemplation of the “thinking-mind” to manage these thoughts; and am very glad to say I am making some progress.

I want to tell you that it is really becoming a reliable technique for me to find inner peace and calm. I have been using the “thousand-petaled lotus” technique with alternating stillness periods, and consciously thinking through all these habitual things/patterns of my mind and taking breaks like you taught us to do.

And wow!

Now, after about 30 minutes of this conscious, deliberate, alternating of thinking and resting, a wonderful kind of stillness and peace emerges. All the solidity of the thoughts just kind-of “break up” and become dream-like. Yet, I feel grounded and as if “the tyrant” has been completely disarmed, even vanquished. Dissolving away like a morning mist. I can rest in what feels like natural Great Peace.

Where “refuge” was once “another place” I could go to get away from my agonising mind, somewhere I could escape to; it is different now. It is now like I can examine and explore this mind of mine and then I find it there…. the refuge is actually there in it; in my mind itself!

Thank you deeply from the depths of my heart for helping me to learn to take charge of my mind, and learn to contemplate my mind and find it’s true nature. I now understand why they say this is priceless.

With love and gratitude …

The June retreat, Deepening Your Meditation is fully booked

October 2016 Coromandel Peninsula New Zealand

April 2017 Yarra Valley, Australia

Meditation Under the Long White Cloud - Deep Natural Peace – NZ, 22- 28 October

Keen to learn more and deepen your experience of relaxation, mindfulness and meditation?

Good instruction, a conducive environment and like-minded people help create the circumstances wherein this breakthrough can occur.

        Take time out from the busyness of everyday life
        Indulge in a meaningful holiday
        Slow down, reflect, contemplate
        Regain perspective, clarity, vitality, and balance

Our annual New Zealand meditation retreat is both practical and regenerative, with optional yoga and Chi Gong. The focus of the 2016 retreat will be the profound stillness of meditation.

Dates     Saturday 22ND to Friday 28th October 2016

Venue    Mana Retreat Centre, Coromandel, New Zealand

Register with Mana Retreat at the online secure http://www.manaretreat.com/users/register.php

More details, CLICK HERE

Meditation in the Forest 2017 – Meditation and Contemplation – Yarra Junction

In 2017, the focus of this annual, pre- Easter retreat will be on the practice of contemplation. Because contemplation is not so widely recognised or written about at the moment, and very few lead specific retreats on this theme, I love presenting this material.

Learning and practising contemplation is so profoundly helpful, in so many ways – from personal transformation, to business, to life direction and meaning, to extra-ordinary insights.

Ruth and I heartily recommend this retreat.

You will learn how to think things through, how to overcome confusion, how to develop clarity and certainty in decision-making, and more - how to access insight, intuition and inner wisdom in a predictable and reliable way.

Date          4 pm Friday 7th April until 2 pm Thursday 13th April 2017.
Venue      The Yarra Valley Living Centre, 55 Rayner Crt, Yarra Junction, Victoria, Australia  
Bookings    The Gawler Foundation: +61 (3) 59671730

More details, CLICK HERE

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